A recent Instagram story of mine got more attention than expected, so I’m going to plan out my meals for the entire month of April and show you how I plan to save $600 on groceries. I spent a staggering $1400 on groceries last month, so it is time to make some changes. I prefer to make these changes little by little, so my new $800/month for a family of four may still sound like a lot to you, but I’m trying over here!
Groceries Have Gotten Very Expensive
My hardcore homesteading friends may laugh at this meal plan, as they grow all their own food and raise cattle. Love you all… But this isn’t for you! There are lots of hardcore homesteaders on the internet. My super budget conscious friends… Not for you either! Also a lot of information on the internet on how to save even more money living on beans and rice. This is for the average American (like myself) who spends way to much money on groceries and wants to progressively get better and better. I am always growing, always learning… And always making mistakes along the way.
This isn’t a new concept at all, but for some reason… Most of us just don’t do it.
Why don’t most people meal plan?
- It takes time
- We don’t want to know how much we spend on groceries
- We might want something else to eat on any given day
Why you should meal plan
- It saves money
- It’s healthier than ordering take out or fast food when you don’t know what to cook
Today, I want to talk all about the money side. We all know food prices are rising (7.9% in a year). Don’t get political with me about this. We should pay for good food as long as the right people are getting paid… Anyways…
I see people all over the internet spending pennies on groceries per month… but honestly, they eat stuff I’d never buy. That’s not realistic for my family or for most families.
I want to save money, and I want to save money while still eating delicious, organic, grass fed, non-GMO goodness.
Why do I want to eat organic?
Maybe you don’t. And that’s fine. You do you. You will save a lot of money… For now. I want to ingest as few pesticides as possible. And if that’s your only concern, you might be able to shop by the Dirty Dozen/ Clean 15 rule. I try to buy as much organic as possible for humanitarian and sustainability reasons (people have to spray the pesticides, and people and animals have to live off of the ground water by the farms). We will save all that for another day.
Where I Plan to Shop to Save Money
- Sam’s club
- My military commissary (A standard grocery store with slightly cheaper prices and substandard produce)
- Azure standard (An online farm/health food store that has drops all over the country. This is a great place to buy in bulk. If you order through my link, I get an additional $25 toward my next order)
- And of course, local farms
This month, I went by what was cheapest in each location. I kind of live in the middle of nowhere, so my Sam’s club doesn’t have any organic produce, or organic anything for that matter. Yours might, so you’ll have to research.
I would love to continue to buy more and more from local farms, but right now it costs a lot more and I don’t have a good farmers market where I can get everything at once. I have two teeny ones to drag around with me. Excuses, excuses… I know. I did just go and pick strawberries locally and froze them for smoothies. I also plan to make my own yogurt in my new instant pot this weekend.
The Meal Plan Game Plan
I plan to buy almost everything I need in one weekend, and just fill in the super perishable items when needed. Every time we go to the grocery store, we ALWAYS pick up stuff that was not on the list. So if you go twice a week… You’re probably spending an extra $20 or more just by stepping foot in the store. We plan to do order pick up for all of these items so we don’t get swindled by the fun stuff on the end caps.
Below are my grocery lists for this weekend (April 1). I already have some items on hand, and some of these items will last me several months.
Sam’s Club Grocery List to Save Money
- Tortilla Chips
- Flour Tortillas
- Hamburger Buns (eventually plan to make my own)
- Garden Veggie Puffs Variety Pack
- Organic Grass Fed Beef 3lb X3
- TOTAL $119.51
Azure Standard Bulk Grocery List
- Bulk Italian Dressing Mix
- Bulk Frozen Blueberries
- Bacon, Beef Brisket
- Bell Peppers
- Broccoli Soup Mix
- Bulk Bread Flour
- Bulk Maple Syrup
- Bulk Rolled Oats
- Russet Potatoes
- Sea Salt
- TOTAL $176.24
Military Commissary Grocery List to Save Money
- Chuck Roast
- Bacon X2
- Mild Italian Sausage
- Oat Milk X3
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- American Singles
- Mexican Cheese
- Pizza Cheese
- Frozen Pineapple
- Diced Tomatoes X6
- BBQ Sauce
- Grape Jelly
- All Purpose Flour
- Maple Syrup
- Hoagie Rolls
- Dave’s White Bread
- Mexican Coca Cola (shh… you didn’t see this. It’s my vice).
- Juice Boxes
- Baby Teethers
- Baby Pouches
- Grape Tomatoes
- Green Beans
- TOTAL: $215.94
So anyways… What the meal plan?
Breakfast and Lunch Meal Plan
We eat the same things for breakfast every single day:
- Sourdough Pancake (I make bulk and freeze. I was buying the Kodiak ones but… $$$)
- English Muffin
For lunch, I am prepping salads for my husband and I will have soups and pasta salad. My toddler will eat peanut butter and jellies… sometimes… maybe the ever so healthy fruit snacks… and maybe sand.
- Salad with chicken
- Broccoli Soup
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Uncrustable PB&Js (I am going to attempt to make my own and freeze them using this).
My April 2022 Dinner Meal Plan
This ends up being pretty boring eating the same thing most weeks. However, I think most of us pretty much do that anyways. By no means did I pick the cheapest meals. I picked things we enjoy and that I could buy in one swoop for the month. I am also in a stage of life where I need easy meals. I love fancier meals that take more effort, but with an infant and a toddler… it’s not my time.
Create Your Own Monthly Meal Plan to Save Money
Don’t want to use my plan to save money? That’s fine, I guess. Sign up below for a free printable so you can create your own (it includes mine too, if you want to join me!).
Saving Money After I Shop
I just discovered Ibotta, an app where you can clip coupons FOR THE THINGS YOU ALREADY PLAN TO BUY, then take a photo of your receipt after you shop and you get cash back. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and within two weeks I have almost $15 in cash back waiting for me. Clipping coupons is not really my thing, as it is very time consuming. Ibotta seems easy enough and I could see us earning quite a bit of cash back over the year if we remember to use it. If you use my link, I will get $10 for your first $10 earned.
Let’s Hope I Can Actually Save Money!
I am interested to see how much money this can actually save us. I am also interested to see what I forget in my large grocery orders and how many times I will have to have my husband go grab things from the grocery store on his way home from work. Planning this far in advance takes practice. I imagine I will get better each month. I will keep you updated.
Let me know in the comments if you want any of the mentioned recipes!